Compared to their non-Hispanic counterparts, Latinas in NYC have the highest high school dropout rate at 37%, the highest teen pregnancy rate at 39%, and the highest suicide ideation rate at 23%. (NYC DOE 2010; CDC 2011; Gillibrand 2014).
The L.O.V.E. Mentoring Program was founded in response to the many studies that reveal stark and staggering discrepancies between young Latinas and other racial or ethnic groups. L.O.V.E. supports and empowers young Latinas to strive both in school and in life through positive role modeling.
About the Program
The L.O.V.E. Mentoring Program will develop a daylong conference called: “ Be-YOU-tiful’– L.O.V.E.”. The conference will consist of a series of workshops and activities that will cover topics related to the importance of self-LOVE and self-esteem. The themes that will be addressed include natural hair, body shapes, social media influence, physical health and wellness, nutrition, makeup and hair sessions and poetry about self-LOVE. The goal of the Be-YOU-tiful’ conference is to promote and educate our L.O.V.E. participants on the importance of loving ourselves just the way we are which will in turn ensure a balanced and healthy emotional, physical and psychological wellbeing.
The Be-YOU-tiful’- L.O.V.E. conference will take place in a reserved space in WeWork Bryant Park. Be-YOU-tiful will be a daylong conference where experts and organizations will cover their respective topics and will be in charge of implementing workshops and activities with our L.O.V.E. participants. Donations and sponsoring support will help us to provide an empowering experience that will contribute to continue enhancing and uplifting the levels of self-esteem and self-confidence among young Latinas. Our goal is for our L.O.V.E. mentees to walk away from the Be-YOU-tiful conference feeling empowered, uplifted and rejoiced.
The “Be-YOU-tiful’– L.O.V.E. conference” was created after L.O.V.E.’s first successful “L.O.V.E. Yourself” conference in November of this year. The L.O.V.E. Yourself conference consisted of a daylong series of workshops that covered topics such as mental health, healthy relationships and reproductive health. The workshops for this project were provided in partnership with some of our current partners, including the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center; Girls Health Ed; DOVE and EndAbuse4Good. This conference aims to empower L.O.V.E. participants by raising their levels of self-LOVE and self-esteem. We will measure the impact of the conference by providing surveys to our L.O.V.E. mentees regarding the areas that were covered during the sessions.
The Be-YOU-tiful’– L.O.V.E. conference is very relevant to the Latino community based on the negative and inequitable outcomes experienced by Latina youth, especially as they relate to cycles of poverty (Bondy, 2015; Cammarota, 2004; Garcia, 2009; Mendoza-Denton, 2014; Sánchez, 2009; Sy, 2006). Latina girls in the United States are subject to some of the highest rates of detrimental outcomes such as leaving high school without a degree, pregnancy, and attempted suicide within their peer group (Garcia, 2009; Mendoza-Denton, 2014).
L.O.V.E. has been successful with high school retention rates in a population that is most at risk for high school attrition. All of our L.O.V.E. mentees in each of our programs have either graduated from high school or have been promoted on to the next grade level. This year, our mentees from TYWLS of East Harlem graduated from high school. These students were part of L.O.V.E. during their four years of high school. They were all accepted to college.
How we’ll use the funds
The Be-YOU-tiful’ – L.O.V.E. conference budget will entail $5,000. Funds will cover the cost for space, food, materials and transportation.
If there are any additional funds they will be used to support our mentoring programs. All donations will help to increase the levels of self-esteem among young women in NYC.
Please help us reach this important goal by sharing our project with your friends and family. The Be-YOU-tiful-L.O.V.E. conference aims to help young women feel empowered, uplifted and rejoiced!
If you feel empowered by our mission and dedication to serve young Latinas in NYC, please donate and share our website www.lovementoring.org with your friends!